Union Budget 2023: World recognise Indian economy as bright start, says FM

Union Budget 2023: World recognise Indian economy as bright start, says FM

04:53 PM

We take inflation-related steps, says FM

You have seen inflation come down, both the CPI and WPI. Action has been taken by the government, we take inflation-related steps when things develop on the ground and in response to it and that has borne results: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

04:51 PM

Hike in TCS on overseas travel

The government proposed to hike the TCS rate to 20 percent from 5 percent currently on overseas tour packages and a liberalized remittance scheme for the remittance of funds out of India. The Finance Bill, via Budget 2023-24, amended Section 206C of the Income Tax Act levying a higher Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on overseas tour program packages.

04:45 PM

On wheat prices

The government has decided to release wheat into the market due to which the price of wheat will come down. Before the budget, we had already taken action to ease wheat prices: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

04:42 PM

On central govt's capital expenditure

In a press meeting following the budget announcement, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan said that the central government's capital expenditure is likely to cross budgeted levels. However, he added, states might not reach the Rs 1 lakh crore tied to specific reforms.

04:39 PM

On fiscal front

"We are respecting the glide path on fiscal deficit set earlier," FM said. The government has a fiscal deficit target of 5.9% for the fiscal ending March 31, 2024.

04:35 PM

A big leg-up to capital investment

Budget 2023 gives a big leg-up to capital investment, it also attends to MSMEs as they are the engine of growth, it sustains capital investment and also gives a push to the private sector while also giving tax reliefs to individuals and middle class: Union Finance Minister

04:33 PM

New tax regime is attractive, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Those who want to remain in Old can still remain there. But the new one is attractive because it gives a greater rebate. It also provides for simplified & smaller slabs, smaller lower rates of taxation & also slabs which are nicely broken down: FM

04:31 PM

There's a lot of increase in agriculture credit availability, says FM

Rs 20 lakhs are being made available for agriculture credit. Also, a sub-scheme under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana makes sure that people living in coastal areas are going to benefit from it: Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman

04:23 PM

'Unleashing digital economy in various walks of life'

We are looking at a futuristic fintech sector, people will be trained through Industrial Revolution 4.0, and we are trying to unleash the digital economy in various walks of life: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

04:18 PM

Making new taxation regime more attractive

The new taxation regime has now got greater incentives, and attractions so that people can unhesitatingly move from the old to the new. We are not compelling anyone. But the new one is now attractive as it gives greater rebates, said Union Finance Minister in her post Budget address.

04:17 PM

Four emphasis points of the budget

The four emphasis points of this budget are on empowering women, action plan for tourism, initiatives for Vishvakarmas (artisans) and green growth: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

04:16 PM

Total investment by power PSUs to rise nearly 15 pc in FY24

Government has proposed to increase the total investment by eight state-owned power companies by about 15 per cent to Rs 60,805.22 crore for the financial year 2023-24. This compares to a revised estimate of Rs 52,878.08 crore for the current financial year.

04:08 PM

FM begins her post Budget presser

04:01 PM

Govt expects 17 per cent higher dividend from RBI, PSU banks in FY24

Government is expecting 17 per cent higher dividend at Rs 48,000 crore from RBI, PSBs and financial institutions in 2023-24. The government aims to garner Rs 40,953 crore from RBI and public sector financial institutions in current financial year ending March. This is much lower compared to the Budget Estimate of Rs 73,948 crore for FY23.

03:52 PM

Fiscal deficit of states

States will be allowed a fiscal deficit of 3.5 percent of GSDP of which 0.5 percent will be tied to power sector reforms, announced FM Sitharaman.

03:48 PM

Reclaiming of shares and dividends

For investors to reclaim unclaimed shares and unpaid dividends from the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority with ease, an integrated IT portal will be established.

03:42 PM

Capacity building in the securities market

In order to build the capacity of functionaries and professionals in the securities market, SEBI will be empowered to develop, regulate, maintain and enforce norms and standards for education in the National Institute of Securities Markets and to recognize award of degrees, diplomas and certificates.

03:34 PM

Skill India Digital Platform

  • The digital ecosystem for skilling will be further expanded with the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for:
  • Enabling demand-based formal skilling
  • Linking with employers including MSMEs
  • Facilitating access to entrepreneurship schemes

03:25 PM

Data Embassy

For countries looking for digital continuity solutions, the government will facilitate the setting up of their Data Embassies in GIFT IFSC.

03:17 PM

Push for coastal shipping

Govt will promote coastal shipping as the energy-efficient and lower-cost mode of transport, both for passengers and freight, through PPP mode with viability gap funding.

03:14 PM

GOBARdhan scheme

500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will be established. These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at total investment of Rs 10,000 crore.

03:08 PM


"PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth" will be launched to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.

03:05 PM

Green Credit Programme

A Green Credit Programme will be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act. This will incentivize environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies, and help mobilize additional resources for such activities.

02:59 PM

For enhancing ease of doing business

More than 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalized. For furthering the trust-based governance, govt introduced the Jan Vishwas Bill to amend 42 Central Acts.

02:56 PM

Mission Karmayogi

Under Mission Karmayogi, Centre, States and UTs are making and implementing capacity-building plans for civil servants. The government also launched an integrated online training platform, iGOT Karmayogi, to provide continuous learning opportunities for lakhs of government employees to upgrade their skills and facilitate a people-centric approach.

02:50 PM

E-Courts project

For efficient administration, Phase-3 of the E-Courts project will be launched with an outlay of Rs 7,000 crore.

02:48 PM

State Support Mission

The State Support Mission of NITI Aayog will be continued for three years.

02:46 PM

Aim to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047

FM said that the central government aims to eliminate sickle cell anemia by 2047, and a mission will soon be launched in this regard. The mission will create awareness among the common people with universal screening of seven crore people in the age group of 0 to 40 years in the tribal areas and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and state governments.

02:38 PM

PM Modi on Union Budget

  • Success of digital payments has to be replicated in agri sector, in Union Budget we have brought a scheme for digital agriculture infra.
  • Unprecedented investment of Rs 10 lakh crore in infrastructure will give speed and new energy to development.
  • Budget will make cooperatives pivot of development of rural economy.

02:35 PM

Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions, Amrit Dharohar scheme for wetlands

Bharat Shared Repository of Inscriptions will be set up in a digital epigraphy museum with the digitisation of one lakh ancient inscriptions in the first stage. Amrit Dharohar scheme will be implemented over the next three years to encourage the optimal use of wetlands and enhance biodiversity.

02:31 PM

Karnataka gets Rs 5,300 cr aid for Upper Bhadra project

Centre would provide Rs 5,300 crore assistance for the Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka. In budget speech, FM said: "In the drought prone central regions of Karnataka, a central assistance of Rs 5,300 crore will be given for the Upper Bhadra Project."

02:26 PM

Divestment target pegged at Rs 51k crore

The government expects to raise Rs 51,000 crore from stake sales in various state-run companies. The government had budgeted to raise Rs 65,000 crore through divestments in FY23.

02:18 PM

PM Modi on training & support to 'Vishvakarma'

Those toiling traditionally through their hands for the country, 'Vishvakarma' are the creators of this country. For the first time scheme related to training & support for 'Vishvakarma' has been brought in the budget: PM Narendra Modi

02:16 PM

First budget of Amrit Kaal will build a strong foundation for building a developed India, says PM

This budget will fulfil dreams of aspirational society including poor people, middle-class people, farmers: PM Narendra Modi on Union Budget 2023

02:11 PM

A look at Defence budget

  • Defence budget was increased to Rs 5.94 lakh crore for 2023-24 from last year's allocation of Rs 5.25 lakh crore.
  • A total of Rs 1.62 lakh crore has been set aside for capital expenditure
  • It includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware.
  • For 2022-23, the budgetary allocation for capital outlay was Rs 1.52 lakh crore but the revised estimate showed the expenditure at Rs 1.50 lakh crore.

02:09 PM

Govt doubles deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme

FM proposed to double the deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme to Rs 30 lakh and Monthly Income Account Scheme to Rs 9 lakh. "The maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme will be enhanced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh," the she said.

She also proposed that the maximum deposit limit for Monthly Income Account Scheme will be enhanced from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh for a single account and from Rs 9 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for a joint account.

02:05 PM

New savings scheme for women with 7.5% fixed interest rate for 2 years

FM announced a 'Mahila Samman Saving Certificate' with a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent for two years. The deposit can be made in the name of a woman or a girl child. The maximum deposit amount has been kept at Rs 2 lakh and the scheme will have a partial withdrawal facility as well.

02:03 PM

Import duty on silver dore, bars, articles increased

Government proposed an increase in the import duty on silver dore, bars and articles with a view to promoting domestic manufacturing. She also said that customs duties on articles made from dore and bars of gold and platinum has been increased.

01:51 PM

What gets costlier

  • Taxes on cigarettes hiked by 16%
  • Basic import duty on compounded rubber increased to 25% from 10%
  • Basic customs duty hiked on articles made from gold bars
  • Customs duty on kitchen electric chimney increased to 15% from 7.5%
  • Fully imported luxury cars and EVs to cost more as govt raises custom duty from 60 pc to 70 pc in Budget

01:50 PM

What gets cheaper

  • Customs duty cut on import of certain inputs will make mobile phones cheaper
  • Customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels cut to 2.5%
  • Basic customs duty on seeds used in manufacturing of lab-grown diamonds to be reduced
  • Customs duty on shrimp feed to be reduced to promote exports

01:47 PM

Govt cuts funding on rural jobs scheme

The government cut back the spending on the rural jobs guarantee scheme for the next fiscal year to 600 billion rupees ($7.34 billion). The allocation is lower than the revised 894 billion rupees spending outlay for 2022/23, and the smallest since 2017/18.Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, introduced over 15 years ago, citizens can enroll for work such as building roads, digging wells, or creating other rural infrastructure and receive a minimum wage for at least 100 days each year.

01:42 PM

FM's seven 'Saptarishi' mantras

01:40 PM

'Budget ticks all the expected boxes'

“The Union Budget ticks all the expected boxes viz. pump priming the economy with 33% higher CapEx allocation; pushing consumption by encouraging taxpayers to adopt the new tax regime with lower taxes and consume the additional money in hand rather than using savings to lower the tax burden in the old regime; and sticking to the fiscal consolidation path with the fiscal deficit target being brought down to 5.9%. The highest tax rate on personal income has also been brought down to address concerns on flight of HNIs,” said Ranen Banerjee - Partner and Leader, Economic Advisory Services, PwC India.

01:32 PM

Five big things you can't miss

  • FM announced an increase in the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh stating that the new tax regime will now be the default tax regime. She also proposed to change the tax structure in this regime by reducing the number of tax slabs to 5 and increasing the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh.
  • FM proposed to raise the capital expenditure target by 33% to 10 lakh crore for the next fiscal year starting April 1, which is 3.3% of the country's economic output.
  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided an outlay of Rs 35,000 crore to achieve energy transition and net zero objectives and listed green growth among seven priorities of the government.
  • Government said that a capital outlay of Rs 2.4 lakh crore has been provided for railways, which is highest-ever allocation since 2013-14. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the capital outlay was fixed for 2023-24.
  • Government will target a budget deficit of 5.9% of GDP for 2023/24, compared to 6.4% for the current fiscal year.

01:23 PM

For better targeting of tax concessions

For better targeting of tax concessions and exemptions, FM proposed to cap deduction from capital gains on investment in residential house under sections 54 and 54F to Rs 10 crore. Another proposal is to limit income tax exemption from proceeds of insurance policies with very high value.

01:19 PM

Other announcements

  • Extension of period of tax benefits to funds relocating to IFSC, GIFT City till 31.03.2025;
  • Decriminalisation under section 276A of the Income Tax Act
  • Allowing carry forward of losses on strategic disinvestment including that of IDBI Bank
  • Providing EEE status to Agniveer Fund.

01:16 PM

On leave encashments

Lastly, the limit of Rs 3 lakh for tax exemption on leave encashment on the retirement of non-government salaried employees was last fixed in the year 2002, when the highest basic pay in the government was Rs 30,000/-pm. In line with the increase in government salaries, I am proposing to increase this limit to Rs 25 lakh.

01:13 PM

Reducing the highest surcharge rate

FM proposed to reduce the highest surcharge rate from 37 per cent to 25 per cent in the new tax regime. This would result in reduction of the maximum tax rate to 39 per cent.

01:08 PM

More on tax front

For the salaried class and the pensioners including family pensioners, FM extended the benefit of the standard deduction to the new tax regime. Each salaried person with an income of Rs 15.5 lakh or more will thus stand to benefit by Rs 52,500.

01:06 PM

D-St cheers

Sensex surges 1,200 points, Nifty near 17,900

01:04 PM

FM explains the 'relief' to all tax payers in the new regime

"An individual with an annual income of Rs 9 lakh will be required to pay only Rs 45,000/-. This is only 5 per cent of his or her income. It is a reduction of 25 per cent on what he or she is required to pay now, ie, Rs 60,000/-. Similarly, an individual with an income of Rs 15 lakh would be required to pay only Rs 1.5 lakh or 10 per cent of his or her income, a reduction of 20 per cent from the existing liability of Rs 1,87,500/." -- FM explained in her Budget speech.

01:00 PM

How much India stands to lose after tax tweaks

India will lose 35,000 crores of net tax revenue after the Union Budget tweaked direct and indirect taxes to provide relief to the middle-income group, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today."Revenue of about 38,000 crore – 37,000 crore in direct taxes and 1,000 crore in indirect taxes – will be forgone while revenue of about 3,000 crore will be additionally mobilized. Thus, the total revenue forgone is about 35,000 crore annually," Sitharaman said while announcing the Union Budget for the next fiscal year that starts April 1.

12:49 PM

Entity DigiLocker

An Entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by MSMEs, large business and charitable trusts. This will be towards storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed, with various authorities, regulators, banks and other business entities.

12:47 PM

Lab Grown Diamond

Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD) is a technology-and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds which have optically and chemically the same properties as natural diamonds. To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years. 75. To reduce the cost of production, a proposal to review the custom duty rate on LGD seeds will be indicated in Part B of the speech.

12:38 PM

"The new tax regime will now be the default tax regime, but citizens can still avail of benefits under old tax regime on opt-out basis

                                                                                                   - Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

12:29 PM

Revised tax slabs under new tax regime

  •    Under new tax regime, income of Rs 0-3 lakh is nil.
  •     Income above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh to be taxed at 5% under new regime.
  •     Income of above Rs 6 lakh and up to Rs 9 lakh to be taxed at 10% under new regime.
  •     Income above Rs 12 lakh and up to Rs 15 lakh to be taxed at 20% under new regime.
  •     Income above Rs 15 lakh to be taxed at Rs 30%.

12:25 PM

Income rebate limit increased to Rs 7 lakh from Rs 5 lakh in new tax regime

12:22 PM

Average processing time for income tax returns reduced from 93 days to 16 days

The government intends to roll out next-gen common IT Return forms and strengthen grievance redressal mechanism: FM Sitharaman

12:22 PM

Five major announcements for Income tax coming...

12:19 PM

Cigarettes to get costlier as Budget proposes 16% hike in duty

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced a 16% increase in NCCD on certain cigarettes.

12:18 PM

Customs duty

The govt proposed Customs duty exemptions on the import of capital goods and machinery required for lithium-ion batteries. The government also proposes to increase customs duty on silver to align with duty on gold and platinum.

12:15 PM

I reiterate my intention to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26, says FM

12:13 PM

100 labs for developing apps using 5G services

100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions. To realise new range of opportunities, business models & employment potential, labs will cover among others, apps like Smart Classrooms, Precision Farming, Intelligent Transports Systems & Healthcare: FM

12:07 PM

FM Sitharaman fixes fiscal deficit for 2023-24 at 5.9%

12:06 PM

National Financial Information Registry

The government will set up a National Financial Information Registry to serve as a central repository of financial and ancillary information, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

12:05 PM

Bio input resource centres

Over the next 3 years, one crore farmers will get assistance to adopt natural farming. 10,000 bio input resource centres will be set up: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

12:04 PM

National Data Governance Policy

To unleash Innovation and research by Startups and Academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out. This will enable access to anonymized data: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

12:01 PM

Revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs

Revamped credit guarantee scheme will take effect from April 1, 2023, through the infusion of Rs 9,000 crore in the corpus. This will enable additional collateral-free credit of Rs 2 lakh crore to MSMEs.

11:59 AM

Push for tourism

50 tourist destinations will be selected through challenge mode to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:58 AM

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0

The government will launch Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, said FM Nirmala Sitharaman. In order to skill the youth for international opportunities, 30 Skill India International Centres will be set up across different States, she added.

11:55 AM

National Hydrogen Mission

FM allocated Rs 19,700 crore to the National Hydrogen Mission. The objective is to reach hydrogen production capacity of 5 metric million tonnes by 2030.

11:51 AM

Rs 35,000 crores priority capital for the energy transition

Battery storage to get viability gap funding: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:47 AM

Digilocker- One stop KYC maintenance system

For business establishments required to have Permanent Account Number, the PAN will be used as a common identifier for all Digital Systems of specified government agencies: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:46 AM

Pushing for transport infra projects

50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones to be revitalised. 100 critical transport infra projects for steel, ports, fertiliser, coal, foodgrain sectors have been identified with an investment of Rs75,000 crore including Rs 15,000 crore from private sources.

11:42 AM

50-year interest free loan to State governments extended for one more year

11:41 AM

Booster for Railways

Capital outlay of Rs 2.40 lakh crore will be provided for railways; 9x over FY14

11:40 AM

Capital investment outlay increased by 33%

Capital investment outlay being increased by 33% to Rs 10 lakh crores, which would be 3.3% of GDP, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech.

11:36 AM

The outlay for PM Awaas Yojana being enhanced by 66% to over Rs 79,000 crores, says FM

11:35 AM

Focus on education

Eklavaya Model Residential Schools -in the next 3 years the Centre will recruit 38,800 teachers and support staff for 740 schools serving 3.5 lakh tribal students: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:34 AM

PM Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups Mission

To improve social-economic condition of the Particularly Tribal Groups, PMPBTG Development mission will be launched, to saturate PBTG habitations with basic facilities. Rs 15,000 cr to be made available to implement scheme in next 3 years: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:31 AM

National Digital Library

The government proposes to set up a national digital library for children and adolescents to make up for the learning loss during the pandemic, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:29 AM

Push for fisheries

The government will launch a sub-scheme under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crore to further enable those involved in fisheries, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:28 AM

Agri push

The government has also initiated computerisation for 63,000 primary agricultural credit societies with an investment of Rs 2,516 crore.

11:24 AM

Assistance for traditional artisans and craftspeople

PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman - package of assistance for traditional artisans and craftspeople has been conceptualized, will enable them to improve quality, scale and reach of their products, integrating with MSME value chain

11:22 AM

Encouraging agritech startups

An agriculture accelerator fund to encourage agritech startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. Fund will focus on bringing innovative solutions for challenges faced by farmers.

11:20 AM

Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme

The government will launch the Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme to improve availability of disease-free quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops at an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

11:19 AM

Seven priorities of the budget

  • Inclusive development
  • Reaching the last mile
  • Infra & investment
  • Unleashing the potential
  • Green growth
  • Youth power
  • Financial sector

11:17 AM

This budget is focused on job creation, upliftment of youth, says FM

We made significant progress in sustainable goals. Also achieved many milestones in Swachh Bharat, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, Direct benefit transfer, and Jan Dhan accounts: FM Sitharaman

11:15 AM

FM on food security

Continuing our commitment to food security, we’re implementing from Jan. 1, 2023, a scheme to supply free food grain to all Antyodaya and priority households for one year under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana," said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:14 AM

Economy has become a lot more formalised as reflected by doubling of EPFO membership, says FM

11:13 AM

World has recognized India as a bright star, says FM

The world has recognized India as a bright star, our growth for the current year is estimated at 7.0%, this is the highest among all major economies, in spite of massive global slowdown caused by pandemic and the war

11:10 AM

Focus on three things

Economic agenda focuses on three things - facilitating ample opportunity for citizens, especially the youth, providing a strong impetus to growth and job creation and third stabilising the macro economy.

11:08 AM

Sensex surges 600 pts, Nifty above 17,800 as Budget speech begins

11:08 AM

"During the COVID pandemic, we ensured that nobody goes to bed hungry with a scheme to supply free foodgrains to over 80 crore persons for 28 month"

- FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:06 AM

We are taking on a people-centric agenda to take on global challenges, says FM

Budget hopes to build on foundation laid in previous Budget. Envision a prosperous, inclusive India in which the fruits of development reach all sections: FM

11:04 AM

Indian economy on the right track, and heading towards a bright future, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

11:04 AM

FM presents the First budget in 'Amritkaal'

11:01 AM

India's wishlists are in. Now over to Sitharaman

10:59 AM

All eyes on Finance Minister

This is the fifth Budget presentation by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. She will lay a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for 2023-24 in Parliament. The Finance Minister will also lay out statements of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003, on medium-term fiscal policy cum fiscal policy strategy and on macro-economic framework. Sitharaman will further introduce the Finance Bill 2023 in the Lower House.

10:57 AM

No dough for PSBs?

The government is unlikely to announce capital infusion for public sector banks (PSBs) in the upcoming Budget as their financial health has improved significantly and they are on track to earn a combined profit of Rs 1 lakh crore, sources said. Their capital adequacy ratio is much above the regulatory requirement and varies between 14-20%.

10:53 AM

Short and sweet? Not if you go by her past

Let’s hope the Finance Minister doesn't decide to break her own record for the longest speech this time again.

On February 1, 2020, she spoke for two hours and 42 minutes while presenting the 2020-21 Budget. With two pages still remaining, she had to cut her speech short.

10:50 AM

This will be a pro-poor, pro-middle class budget, says Parl Affairs Min

This will be the best budget. This will be a pro-poor, pro-middle class budget, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. He added, "World accepting India's model. India going ahead & witnessing economic growth. They (Oppn) shouldn't show dissatisfaction. If they have grievances, let it be against Govt. They should show large-heartedness to show satisfaction for the country's development."

10:46 AM

I too belong to the middle class, so I understand the pressures, Sitharaman said a few weeks ago. But does she?

Will she give India’s middle class what they have been craving - lower rates under the new tax regime, more tax deductions on home loans & a simpler capital gains tax?

In the same interview, the minister said that the present Modi government has not imposed any fresh taxes on the middle class. Also, she added, income of up to Rs 5 lakh is exempt from the income tax.

10:43 AM

Cabinet okays last full Budget of Modi 2.0 government

10:38 AM

5 ideas for Sitharaman that can make us happier

  • A cut in personal income tax
  • Expansion of PLI schemes
  • More job schemes
  • GST rationalization
  • More social security schemes

10:35 AM

Copies of Budget 2023 arrive at the Parliament

10:34 AM

India's Manufacturing PMI

Posting 55.4 in January, the seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index highlighted a nineteenth successive monthly improvement in operating conditions. Despite falling from December's recent high of 57.8, the headline figure remained above its long-run average.

10:32 AM

Nominal GDP

The nominal GDP growth in the current fiscal is estimated to be 15.4 per cent. The numbers for the next fiscal are expected to be lower as inflation has come down. In the current fiscal, Real GDP growth is projected at 7 per cent and come down to 6-6.5 per cent in the next.

10:29 AM

Buzzwords to listen for during the FM’s speech

  • Fiscal deficit
  • GDP
  • Capex
  • Borrowing
  • LTCG
  • PLI
  • Disinvestment
  • Income tax
  • Cigarette tax

10:24 AM

Rupee gains 12 paise

Rupee gained 12 paise to 81.76 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday ahead of the Union Budget presentation, registering a rise of 12 paise over its previous close.

10:24 AM

Rupee gains 12 paise

Rupee gained 12 paise to 81.76 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday ahead of the Union Budget presentation, registering a rise of 12 paise over its previous close.

10:21 AM

Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi begins at Parliament

After the Cabinet approves the Budget 2023, it will be presented in Parliament by FM Sitharaman.

10:20 AM

A look at tax revenues

It is expected that the government's tax revenues will overshoot the budget estimates by about Rs 4 lakh crore on buoyant income tax and customs duty. The Budget had pegged direct and indirect tax mop-up at Rs 14.20 lakh crore and Rs 13.30 lakh crore for current fiscal.

10:17 AM

Stepping up the capex

The government's planned capex for this fiscal year is budgeted at Rs 7.5 lakh crore. It is higher than Rs 5.5 lakh crore from the last fiscal. The government has been constantly pushing infrastructure creation and also incentivising states to step up capex.

10:14 AM

More realistic disinvestment target

In the current fiscal year, the budgeted disinvestment target is likely to be missed, like the past four years. This time the government is expected to set a realistic target for the next fiscal.

10:10 AM

Will govt open its purse strings?

The fiscal deficit, which is the difference between the government expenditure and income, for the current fiscal ending March 2023 is 6.4 per cent, against 6.71 per cent in the last fiscal. The latest number for 2023-24 would be in focus as it is widely expected that the government would open its purse strings in an election year.

10:08 AM

Union Cabinet meeting to start shortly

Before the actual presentation, the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will approve the Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024).

While traditionally, copies of the Budget are brought to the Parliament complex before the Finance Minister arrives, this year no document has been printed following the COVID-19 protocol. Instead, the Budget copies will be disseminated electronically, with documents being uploaded on the government website as well as being made available on a special app developed for the same.

10:05 AM

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Parliament

A Union Cabinet meeting started at 10 am following which the Finance Minister will present the Union Budget 2023 in the Parliament at 11 am.

10:03 AM

Borrowing cost

According to Economic Survey, Borrowing cost may remain 'higher' for longer period; entrenched inflation may prolong tightening cycle.

10:01 AM

Macro Watch

India's core sector output rises by 7.4 per cent in December

10:00 AM

Any tax relief today?

Eco Survey showed a jump of 26% in direct income. After plummeting during the pandemic-affected year FY21, revenue receipts registered robust growth in FY22 PA, both on a YoY basis and to the pre-pandemic year FY20. This revenue revival was attributed to a rebound in the collection of all major direct and indirect taxes (except excise duties) in FY22. Last year's revenue buoyancy momentum is continuing into the current year. The Gross Tax Revenue registered a YoY growth of 15.5% from April to November 2022, and the Net Tax Revenue to the Centre after the assignment to states grew by 7.9% on a YoY basis.

09:59 AM

A look at CAD

From the Economic Survey: Current account deficit may continue to widen as global commodity prices remain elevated; rupee may come under pressure

09:55 AM

If income tax relief is given in the new tax regime will the old tax regime continue?

Continuing two parallel tax regimes for the long term does not really achieve the aim of simplification of tax administration.

So, the government may look at phasing out the old tax regime after the new tax regime has been suitably tweaked to attract the majority of taxpayers. The phasing out process could be immediate or stretched over several years.

09:54 AM

Sitharaman, sixth Finance Minister to present budget 5 times in a row

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is the sixth minister in independent India to present five consecutive budget, joining a select league of legends likes of Manmohan Singh, Arun Jaitley and P Chidambaram. Sitharaman's budget for the fiscal year starting April 2023 is her fifth straight since 2019. Other ministers who have presented five straight annual financial statements include Arun Jaitley, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, Manmohan Singh and Morarji Desai.

09:51 AM

FM takes tablet in red pouch to present Budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday again took a digital tablet wrapped in a traditional 'bahi-khata' style pouch as she headed for Parliament to present Union Budget 2023-24 in a paperless format just like the previous two years. She posed for the traditional 'briefcase' picture outside her office along with her team of officials before heading to meet the President. She, however, was holding a tablet instead of a briefcase to present the Budget in a digital format.

09:47 AM

A look at India's growth

Economy has slowed after growing 8.7% in 2021/22, when it was helped by the economic rebound after a 6.6% contraction during the pandemic. Worried over rising public debt, the government is likely to cut its fiscal deficit to between 5.8% and 5.9% of GDP in 2023/24 from the 6.4% of 2022/23, officials told Reuters. The government has already stopped the pandemic-era free food programme and is expected to cut subsidies for food and fertiliser by nearly $17 billion.

09:41 AM

Risk from global slowdown

Like many other economies, India is facing a risk from the global slowdown, which would impact domestic manufacturing and exports. And higher global prices for fuel and commodities caused a surge in inflation higher, and led to higher interest rates, which has also dampened economic growth. The Reserve Bank of India bank has raised its benchmark policy rate by 225 basis points since May 2022 to tame retail inflation - which accelerated to over 7% after a surge in food and energy prices following the Ukraine war.

09:34 AM

All set for the B-Day

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, MoS Pankaj Chaudhary and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget 2023-24.

09:32 AM

Tax cuts, financial incentives?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may tweak income-tax slabs to provide relief to the nation’s vast middle class and increase spend on the poor through programs such as rural jobs, while ramping up financial incentives for local manufacturing, according to economists and reports in local media. Social welfare programs would get “appropriate” allocation as “the gap between have and have nots has widened,” said India Ratings & Research Pvt. economist Devendra Kumar Pant. Inflation has eroded spending power and relief in tax “can provide the much-needed thrust to the consumption demand.”

09:24 AM

From the Economic Survey

Economic Survey forecast the economy could grow 6% to 6.8% year-on-year next fiscal year, down from 7% projected for the current year, while warning about the impact of global slowdown on exports. "India's growth outlook seems better than in the pre-pandemic years, and the Indian economy is prepared to grow at its potential in the medium term," the report said. IMF has forecast India's economy would grow by 6.1% in 2023/24, slowing from 6.8% in this fiscal year.

09:21 AM

Market mood ahead of Budget

Sensex opens in green, currently up by 437.32 points and trading at 59,987.22.

09:21 AM

'Budget will continue economic reforms'

"The annual budget will continue economic reforms," said Gopal Krishna Agarwal, economic affairs spokesman of Bharatiya Janata Party. "The easing of retail inflation, higher state spending and growing bank credit would help the economic recovery ahead of the national elections," he said.

09:18 AM

Focus on fiscal deficit, spending

Presenting the annual budget to parliament, India's government will seek to lower its fiscal deficit while offering incentives for investment and stepping up state spending to support an economy that is caught in the global slowdown. Although the government faces elections in key states this year and a national vote in 2024, the budget is unlikely to offer major relief to households due to fiscal constraints, officials told Reuters, while noting that the budget would focus on long-term growth.

09:13 AM

The infra expectation

"In the Union Budget 2023, the infrastructure sector expects the spending on infrastructure development to go up to 10% of GDP. Increased spending will help in building assets for the future, generate employment, and circulate capital in the economy. Governments spending especially in sectors like PMAY need more aggression, which will benefit the lowest strata of society. Even after the available budget due to red tapism disbursal of the fund need special focus. The sector also expects the government to ease the norms for raising funds and ensure that loan repayment terms have easier norms," said Pradeep Misra, CMD-REPL.

09:05 AM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reaches Rashtrapati Bhavan to call on President Murmu

FM will then attend the Union Cabinet meeting, and then present Union Budget 2023-24.

08:56 AM

A look at govt's spending

08:54 AM

Amid Adani woes

India is all set to unveil a budget that will chart a path for sustained robust growth and fiscal prudence although the fallout from Hindenburg Research’s allegations on the Adani Group poses an overhang on the presentation. Finance Minister will announce the last full-year budget before Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a third term in elections due in the summer of 2024.

08:51 AM

Suspense continuous...

You will come to know at 11 am what will the common public get. I would not like to make any comments at this point: MoS Finance Dr Bhagwat Karad

08:46 AM

Budget to incorporate every section's expectations, says MoS Finance

Ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2023-24 in the Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said that the budget will incorporate the expectations of every section of society and will stand on everyone's expectations.

08:44 AM

FM Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance, ahead of the Budget presentation